Joint Base Lewis-McChord announcement.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD – The Department of Defense’s largest retailer has transformed the shopping experience for more than 345,000 military shoppers in the Seattle-Tacoma area with the reopening of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s $72.6 million Lewis Exchange shopping center.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison Commander Col. Phil Lamb, Exchange Western Region Senior Vice President Ronny Rexrode, Exchange Northwest Area Regional Vice President Carrie Cammel and JBLM Exchange General Manager Matthew Beatty cut the ribbon on the expanded and upgraded Exchange on Sept. 28 (click for more pictures).
“This modern store demonstrates the Exchange’s dedication to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the people who live and work here, and the retirees and Veterans in the area as well,” Col. Lamb said. “Thank you to the Exchange for being true partners with us and standing with our community to make it better.”
Authorized military shoppers, including active-duty service members, military families, retirees service-connected disabled Veterans as well as DoD and Coast Guard civilians, can explore the 295,800-square-foot shopping center and can shop and dine at the Exchange at military-exclusive prices, always tax-free.
The expanded food court includes Slim Chickens, Subway, Arby’s and Charleys. In the PX, shoppers will find American Eagle, Aerie, Old Navy and other national brands. BE FIT, sports nutrition, gaming and furniture concept shops were enhanced as well.
In the mall, the Exchange opened its 100th Starbucks location, the first Petco on a military installation and its first Bath & Body Works shop worldwide as part of the project.
Other improvements to the shopping experience include new flooring and lighting as well as a refreshed mall area with a new Military Clothing store; beauty, barber and optical shops; eyebrow threading service; U.S. Patriot Tactical; GNC; Wireless Advocates; a watch and jewelry repair store; Soleil Nail and Spa; The UPS Store; GameStop; Turkish Carpets and Gifts; Auntie Anne’s; a new Class Six and more.
“It’s beautiful! It’s up to date. It’s somewhere I want to come and shop even though I don’t live on post,” said Army Specialist Carly Goodman, who is assigned to the 62nd Medical Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “The tax-free benefit is one of the biggest incentives. There’s very competitive pricing, especially with inflation, and it’s expensive to live here. I have a newborn so we buy everything from diapers to fishing gear—it’s a one-stop shop.”
The Exchange started the project in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic caused delays and limited the ability to gather to properly celebrate the project’s completion. Construction was completed in phases over more than three years. The project was funded by the Exchange, with the garrison supporting with $457,000 for the Military Clothing store, and U.S. Army Medical Command funding the $928,000 satellite pharmacy in the mall.
“The updated shopping center is proof of the Exchange’s commitment to taking care of Warfighters and their families,” Beatty said. “The reopening marks a new era of service and support at JBLM.”
When the military community at Joint Base Lewis-McChord shops at the Exchange, they’re making their communities stronger: 100% of Exchange earnings are re-invested in military communities. About 60% of Exchange earnings support Quality-of-Life programs that support service members and their families. The Exchange’s remaining earnings are reinvested in improving the shopping experience, including renovating and expanding the JBLM Exchange.
In addition to shoppers with in-store shopping privileges, nearly 60,000 honorably discharged Veterans in the Seattle-Tacoma area can verify their eligibility to shop the Exchange tax-free online, for life at ShopMyExchange.com/Vets.
The Fort Lewis Exchange shopping center at Bldg. 5280, Pendleton Avenue MS 46, is open 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday. For more information, call 253-964-3161.